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  • Jennifer Z. Major

Remember that mountain? Hello, and greetings from Base Camp.


Well, my friends, I was definitely on to something last week with my impending sense of change...

"God calls all kinds of people, and He equips those He calls. Hence the years and years of focused study and learning, and listening. Lots and lots of listening. It is a mountain of responsibility, and even though I have no idea when it is coming? I know it IS coming."

Yesterday, my husband and I were waiting on a rocky beach for a boat that would either take us across to camp to see our 2 sons, or bring us 1 son to take home. The other was staying on to work. Either way, that boat was coming!

We were checking our phones for texts from that 1 son, when mine lit up with "Mary Keeley-incoming call". I called out to my husband, "Mary's calling."

Mary Keeley is my agent.

He gave me a look and nodded. He knew this was unusual.

It was Sunday. She never worked on Sundays. And she never called on Sundays.

In 5 minutes and 14 seconds, my life changed.

My dear, patient, brilliant, beloved agent was retiring, effective immediately.

She'd offered me representation back in September of 2013. Since then, she's guided me towards better work, a greater appreciation for the craft and calling of writing, and a deeper sense of who I was as a writer. She cheered me on and made a massive difference to my career.

Also, she speaks hockey! She took an interest in my sons and their achievements. I distinctly remember emailing back and forth when her team was in the Stanley Cup Finals!! You're welcome, Mary, for talking you off the panic shelf.

And not once did I have to call her for bail money!!

But, I stood on that beach, reeling from the news.

I totally understood, though.

I was not surprised.

Not to the depths that I could have been.

Why?

Because last week, and in the weeks prior, I listened to that still small voice and prepared my heart for the coming mountain.

Well, it sure came!!

So, now we're here at Base Camp.

Why am I saying "Base Camp"? Because any serious, experienced climber knows that in order to summit, one must spend time at the Base Camp of any mountain, readying oneself for the task ahead.

Everest.

Annapurna.

K2.

Denali.

Anyone who is already at Base Camp has the experience to make it to the top of the mountain, but part of that experience is knowing when to rest and acclimate to the new demands of a changing altitude. To learn the lay of the land. To learn the habits and skills of one's fellow climbers, and to study and memorize the skills and expectations of one's leader and partners.

And speaking of leaders and partners...God has blessed me with a new and equally incredible agent, Wendy Lawton. Wendy is the Vice President of Books and Such Literary Management and I am ABSOLUTELY THRILLED to be working with her. I've known her for years and adore her, and many of my friends are her clients.

(Yes, I'm still with the same agency.)

Now, as Mary steps away to spend more time with her husband, children, grandchildren, and extended family, Wendy and I will better acquaint ourselves.

As I said to someone earlier today, "I'm exchanging emeralds for rubies, but it's still a change."

Yes, I'll be fine.

Yes, this is a big change!

Yes, I'll continue to work hard, however Wendy directs me to do so.

Thank you, Mary. For everything you've taught me. Thank you for a wonderful three and a half years. You've been a gift from God.

I will do my best, I will make you proud.

#MaryKeeley

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